Title/s: Clinical Instructor of Information Technology programs
External Webpage: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christopher-fulton-5a053a17/
Why do you enjoy working with professional degree students?
I like working with non-traditional, adult students because I appreciate their sense of urgency for learning and I value the greater sense of purpose adult learners have when returning to school.
As an instructor, I often reflect on my own mother’s experience as an Adult learner who returned to school to earn her associate, bachelor's and master's degree. As a single parent it often meant attending school along with her due to lack of childcare. During those times of attendance, I experienced her determination to succeed. I also witnessed the difficult moments she experienced when completing her programs. My observance of those experiences allows me to appreciate and sympathize with adult learners who I encounter in the classroom. The determination I witnessed in my own mother's pursuit of higher education, as well as in students I've had in the past, is one of the many reasons I enjoy working with adult learners.
How has your experience at SCPS impacted you as an instructor and professional?
Listening to our student ambassadors speak so highly of their experience as SCPS students has made me reflect on how I can perpetuate and continue those positive experiences in my role as a faculty member. When I joined SPCS in the summer of 2021, some of the first voices I heard from were current and recent graduates of SCPS. Listening to their experiences made me want to uphold the tradition of creating phenomenal student experiences.
Our current and former students speak highly of our staff and faculty, and this is always in my mind as I represent SCPS and our institution.
I would also like to mention that I have some of the best colleagues.
What impact has being an instructor at SCPS had on your community?
As an instructor, I often witness our students going the extra mile and hurdling obstacles that seem difficult while seeking to finish their program. I have witnessed a student battle back from a cancer diagnosis and continue their studies, and I have witnessed a student succeed in working a double shift while taking on a full course load. The impact of these experiences has made me want to work harder on behalf of my students. It also invigorates within me a pursuit to demonstrate excellence in my own research and project endeavors.
As an instructor, I look to find relevant ways to connect the material back to everyday life and have students work on projects they can use beyond my course. For instance, in my CPST 242 Design for the Web course, I have students create a web project of their choosing. Some students opt to redo local company web pages and others opt to create a web site around a business venture they have in mind. Students are energized and motivated by being able to work on projects they can use for their business ideas and projects that impact local businesses.
In some of my upper-level courses, I try to engage organizations that need assistance with their digital presence, and I formulate a plan to use real examples during my lectures and synchronous class sessions. This not only introduces actual projects they can expect to work on once they complete their program, but it’s also a way to work alongside community organizations to help advance their initiatives.
What are some highlights of SCPS that you will remember going forward?
During our 2022 Holiday party, our entire office wrote affirmations for each colleague. We took time to go around and present each colleague with the affirmations that were gathered. As a new faculty member, the activity was simple but encouraging and was a powerful way to take time and reflect on folks who do good work in our school. The activity was a beautiful way of putting into practice “Cura personalis” and acknowledging the value and uniqueness each person brings to SCPS.
I will also remember our beginning-of-the-year gatherings when we would all get together and have dinner at the Museum of Contemporary Art during their “Tuesday on the Terrace” events. It is always an enjoyable way to kick off the school year and meet each other's family.
What do you want those outside of SCPS to know about SCPS students?
Our students are resilient, determined, and fun to have in class.
I have taught in a variety of institutional settings with several types of students (traditional, non-traditional, and graduate), and working with adult learners in our school reminds me that I am privileged to play a role in helping others achieve their goals. As I continue to learn more about our students, I discover there are several reasons that draw them back to school. When I dig deeper into the reasons students attend school, it often reveals that it is steeped in purpose. As an instructor, you can sense that purpose by the questions that are asked and by the quality of assignments. Even when I do receive an assignment that falls short of the requirements, it is not due to lack of effort, but rather it stems from needing more clarity or not having enough dedicated time to do their best work due to other life obligations.
- Masters of Science in Information Systems March 2014 Concentration in e-Business and Web Development DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois | College of Computing and Digital Media
- Bachelor of Science in Business Administration May 2007 Major: Human Resource Management Minor: Organizational Communication Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana | Miller College of Business